Thousands Flee Huge Volcano Eruption In Southern Chile

The lava ejection from the Villarrica volcano reportedly reached 1,100 meters Tuesday. More than 3,000 people were evacuated.

A volcanic eruption in Villarrica, central Chile, prompted evacuations of nearby towns and cities and emergency meetings of officials, local media reported.

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The eruption began at around 3 a.m. local time Tuesday (1 a.m. ET), according to BioBioChile. The Chilean National Mining and Geology Service (Sernageomin) issued a red alert.

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24 Horas reported that the initial eruption exceeded the size of the volcano, causing a bang so loud that residents of nearby towns began evacuating spontaneously.

 

Picture of the Villarrica volcano, located near Villarrica 1200 km from Santiago, in southern Chile, which began erupting on March 3, 2015. (Ariel Marinkovic/AFP/Getty Images)

The lava ejection radius of the eruption reportedly reached 1,100 meters, according to the chief engineer of the local observatory.

Ariel Marinkovic / Getty Images

 

The mayor of Villarrica has said that the situation is calm, and that the eruption is over, according to local media.

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Volcanic lightning was visible during the eruption, according to 24 Horos and images circulated on Twitter.

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The eruption was visible 50 miles away, in the city of Temuco, the provincial capital, Cautín, and the regional capital, Araucanía, according to BioBio Chile.

Ariel Marinkovic / EPA

More than 3,000 residents were evacuated from the area, BBC reported. A mayor said people left “calmly.”

Geography of #Villarrica volcano:Red pin is city of Villaricca, Chile.Purple pin is volcano 20 miles away.

— ReddingWriting (@Mike Redding)

Watch video of the dramatic volcano eruption.

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Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/franciswhittaker/villarrica-volcano-eruption